In the last years, many foreigners have decided to move to Bratislava. The trend is constantly increasing, thanks to a city that offers a lot to young people: work, cultural events, activities of all kinds.
Today we want to give you a first-hand testimony, and to inaugurate a new column of Jobbami. The “interviews”, virtual chats with those who live and work in a foreign city. First-hand information, questions and answers. They are testimonies that will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of living in a particular city.
The information found on the internet is often old, and sometimes does not reflect reality. This is why we have decided to ask those who have moved somewhere.
Before we begin, we invite you to read our city guide, where you can find all the practical information you need. Check it out to find average salaries, bureaucracy, websites to find a room for rent and much more.
OK, now we can move on to our interview. It is composed of questions and answers, through which you can get a clear idea of what you might find in the Slovak capital.
Are you ready? Let’s start!
Introduction: who are you?
Ciao! I am Mara, 32 years old, Italian.
I studied Political Science in Italy, then I spent my Erasmus in Murcia, Spain. After the University I went to Norwich, England, to learn English and I have lived in Slovakia since 2014.
1 – Moving to Bratislava: How and why?
I just couldn’t find a job in Italy. At that time, I was sharing the flat with a Slovak girl. She told me that in her country, and especially in Bratislava, there were many job opportunities also for young graduates. She was right!
2 – Why did you choose Bratislava?
Honestly? 5 years ago I didn’t even know where Bratislava was! I came here without any expectation or idea about the city or the country. I was just desperate because I spent months applying for jobs in Italy without any feedback, so any country would have been ok for me. I just needed a job.
3 – Where do you work? What do you do?
I work for Mondelez International, Procurement Department. My job position is Direct Materials Buying Support Analyst for Packaging Team. Basically I buy the packages for our products, I prepare and update the contracts for suppliers through SAP, secure sufficient stock of packaging materials in the production plants, perform unit price adaptation, and I solve problems with invoices.
4 – What skills have you acquired in those years?
Technically speaking, I learnt how to use Excel and SAP. But I have also improved my soft skills like communication or negotiation. The companies in Bratislava have a multicultural environment, so there are always chances to improve your social relations.
5 -What salary did you start with?Did it increase?
I started with a very low salary, but in 5 years I doubled it. Things are improving very fast here, and the salaries are getting better and better.
6 – How is the job market in Bratislava?
There are many job opportunities in several areas. The most interesting ones for foreigners are the Shared Service Center of multinational companies (like Mondelez, Henkel, IBM, Lenovo, Accenture Amazon and so on). For other types of job, Slovak language in necessary (and it is very difficult to learn it, believe me!). Moving to Bratislava often involves working for some multinational company.
7 – How is living in Bratislava?
The city is small, quiet and safe, but also dynamic and young. It may not have the most amazing nightlife of Europe, but there are tons of pubs, clubs and opportunities to have fun. Slovaks are a bit introvert at the beginning, but also very family oriented and trustable people. It is not very easy to find new local friends here, but once you will have a Slovak one, it will be forever!
The city can be expensive compared to the salaries (for example, the rent is very high; clothes are also expensive), but eating out or traveling are affordable. It is hard to save tons of money, but the quality of life is good especially for families and young people.
8 – Pro & Cons of the city?
Let’s start with the cons: the health system is still not comparable with Western standards even if it is slowly improving. As mentioned. the city can be quite expensive compared to the salaries, this is not a place to become rich.
But there are plenty of positive aspects: the city is safe and quiet, it is an amazing place for families and especially for kids. I also love the position! In the very heart of Europe (Vienna, Budapest and Prague are very close), you can take a car or a train and go everywhere. Another nice thing of Slovakia is that there is a very good balance between work and personal life. I finish working at 15.30, and then I can focus on my hobbies and private life. I would definitely suggest moving to Bratislava to your readers that are looking for a job!
9 -What would you recommend to those looking for a job abroad?
It is easier than you think! Apply to vacancies, in this part of Europe you will find a lot of nice opportunities.
10 – Would you make again the choice to move to Bratislava?
Absolutely, yes. I miss my island, Sardinia, but I am satisfied with my life here.